musing on manolo

There is nothing charming about a woman who cannot walk in her shoes.

-Manolo Blahnik

This piece of footwear wisdom comes from an interview with the shoe maestro, Manolo Blahnik in the Guardian (see the article here). I was inspired to share it with you, and to wake up early on a Sunday morning to write about it, because it is so easy to forget that the success of an ensemble is not determined by how stylish it looks standing statically in front of a mirror at home. Instead, it is determined by how well we can live in it and how well it moves out in the world. How many fashion victims have achieved that title because they clomp around as if they have the entire staff of Bergdorf’s shoe floor strapped to their back?!

If sartorial success is defined by how we walk, footwear is paramount. This is why I believe it’s important to invest in the best shoes you can afford that fit your lifestyle. Here I am defining ‘best’ not to be the most lavish, designer heels you can find but the most well-made shoes that are useful to you on a day-to-day basis. E.g., if you live in flats, plonking down your rent money on Stuart Weitzman’s latest suede heeled boot makes absolutely no sense. For myself, I spend most of my week in heels so I spend a bit more money to get pumps that cradle my feet in comfort* and elegance.

The Manolos pictured above were purchased five years ago when I was just starting out in the corporate world. My mum gasped when I told her how much I spent while I was still on a temp’s salary but all this time later, they look as good as new, they have never once given me a blister or foot cramp and they have carried me from family functions to nights on the town, from job interviews to corporate events. To everyone who scoffs at the notion of a sartorial investment, I hold up these patent leather beauties with a fair bit of pride.

Now that I’ve shared my thought-process on shoes, how do you shop for your feet? Is comfort a factor or is style the only consideration? Where does price come in?

Hope you’re all having a great weekend!!

*I realize some may be dubious about the word ‘comfort’ being associated with high-heeled shoes but it isn’t a pipe dream. Designers like Manolo (also Jimmy Choo & Christian Louboutin) create heeled shoes that balance the weight between the heel and ball of the foot. Without the weight falling forward into the ball of the foot (which causes aching and also toe scrunching- hello blisters), feet can be perfectly happy on an incline (I still wouldn’t go running in them). It’s for this reason, once you go Manolo…it’s hard to go back!!

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danger, danger…

The Rebecca Minkoff sample sale is currently on-going (location/time details below). I had been flip-flopping on whether or not to attend. On the one hand was financial solvency arguing that I had just come back from London and should probably give my plastic a respite but on the other was the lure of lovely bags, shoes, wallets and clutches from a designer that I love at full retail price and absolutely swoon over at 50% reductions. If these types of sales happened all the time, it would be easy to pass one up and postpone my indulgence until the next time when my bottom line is (hopefully) a little happier but it is the scarcity of these events that has me sprinting out of the office at closing time, desperate to beat the post-work rush.

Once in the door, the knowledge that these are all limited time offers means there is no room for uncertainty. There is no option of leaving the item for 30 minutes while you ponder your feelings for said article. In reality, you rarely even have 30 seconds. I had taken ownership of a lovely blue piped clutch that I had only placed down for a moment to get better purchase on the shoe box tucked under my arm before a vulture descended. I gave her my fiercest stink eye will pressing my hand to the bag to signal ownership. She slunk away. MWAH HA HA HA. (Later, this same bag inspired a woman to yell across the room to ensure I was taking it and it wasn’t up for grabs. This was a foolish move as if I had been even slightly undecided about it, the knowledge that someone else coveted it would have firmed my resolve).

Decisions must be made and they generally ere on the side of ‘YES! YES! YESSSSSSSS!’ as you calculate not the amount you will spend but how much you will save versus buying retail. This shifted focus will guarantee that you outspend whatever budget you set for yourself . Next up your standing in the checkout line strategizing that it will all be OK so long as you dine solely on ramen noodles for the next month (possibly two) or take up the Special K diet. All this will seem worth it when you finally leave the insanity with bags of AWESOME in each hand. I never knew I needed animal print heels but now that I have them, I cannot fathom life without them.

Raise your hand if you are waiting with bated breath for the next DANNIJO trunk sale?! Whoohooo!!

Rebecca Minkoff Sample Sale
Note: I went last night and there was still an enormous amount of merchandise so it’s well worth checking out if you’re in the area: 
260 Fifth Avenue (between 28th and 29th St), New York, NY 
Friday, May 11th: 10am – 8pm
Saturday, May 12th: 10am – 8pm
Sunday, May 13th: 10am – 4pm
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